Coyote Hunting San Bernardino CA
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5 Must-Have Tools for Today's Coyote Hunter
Predator hunting is all the rage these days. When most big game seasons cool down, coyote season heats up. Even though these wild dogs are open for the taking year round in many jurisdictions, hardcore predator hunters acknowledge January and February as prime time. Even still, only the most skilled, savvy, and well-equipped hunters learn to score consistently on these small and cagey fur-bearing targets. With today's advancements, predator fanatics learn to equip themselves with five must-have tools: decoys, calls, camouflage, firearms, and good optics.
My all-time favorite full-body decoy has become Flambeau's Lone Howler. Coyotes are social; they crave interaction with their peers and the life size Lone Howler provides a visual that is too enticing to pass up. Used at the same time as a howler or even a squealer call, this full-body decoy helps distract attention from the hunter while drawing curious coyotes in for a closer look. During peak breeding periods in particular, a full-body coyote decoy is at the top of my list as a must-have for today's coyote hunter. Fasten a piece of rabbit fur to its mouth and it becomes that much more appealing to incoming coyotes.
Likewise, motion decoys resembling a prey species like a rabbit or prairie dog can be an enormous asset, particularly during the hard mid-winter months when coyotes find it especially difficult to hunt for food. These active decoys offer an enticing visual suggesting the prospect of an easy meal, another must-have for the coyote hunter. Flambeau's Rigor Rabbit for instance, vibrates adding just enough motion to entice curious coyotes in for an easy meal. Place them 20 yards apart, in a location that will catch the attention of responsive coyotes, sit back and start calling. You'll be amazed with the results. For more information on decoys, visit www.flambeauoutdoors.com .
The howler allows you to howl, yip, and yelp like a coyote. Seasoned callers learn when and how to make certain howling sounds to communicate different things, i.e. territorial howls, mating howls, and more to attract males and females alike.
Prey-in-distress calls are the seco...
I live far enough north that when mid-winter rolls around the amount of daylight available to hunt coyotes can be less than eight hours. That means I need to be spending my daylight hours hunting, not scouting for someplace to hunt. But any coyote hunter worth his skinning knife will tell you that to be successful, you have to hunt where the coyotes are. The more coyotes, the greater your success will be. The key then is to have a scouting method that finds concentrated amounts of coyotes - fast. I have such a system and it's never failed me.
My first coyote hunt of last winter is a great example. I hadn't scouted for tracks, listened for howling, searched for scat or poured over maps. Instead, I scouted from the comfort of my truck, covering large amounts of country at 50 miles per hour and stopping only to talk with landowners. When I set up to make my first stand of the winter a young male coyote responded to my rabbit call within ten minutes. Eventually, he stepped out onto open pasture and without hesitation came straight for me. I let him get about halfway, barked him to a stop and a 35 grain Berger bullet dropped him where he stood.
At my next stand, it was only five minutes until a big male trotted across the ice at me. He made it most of the way across the beaver pond on which I sat and froze when I moved my rifle into position. A moment later, another Berger bullet collapsed him in his tracks. I continued calling and it wasn't long before another popped out onto the ice. This one was more cautious so I dumped him at the edge of the trees. A third coyote appeared after more calling but he hung back in the black spruce. No matter, the Leupold on my rifle separated him from the shadows and I had a triple.
These results weren't luck. I knew these coyotes were there because I knew cattle were being wintered in the area. And cattle are easier to find than coyotes. Just go for a drive in the country and you'll see them everywhere. Once you've found cattle, you've found coyotes.
Come winter, cattle need to be fed; and so farmers and ranchers typically gather the herd into one or more centralized locations to nurse them through the cold months. Feeding techniques vary from spreading feed directly on the ground in large open fields to controlled feedlots. But the key is that this entire cattle husbandry "system" creates what is in effect a giant grocery store for coyotes.
It starts with the feed. Coyotes will eat just about anything and they'll eat some cattle feed, especially corn and the cereal grains. Beyond that, hay bales make cozy homes for mice and voles and when these are lifted, moved and...
Tips for Better Coyote Hunting
It's the rush of a lifetime! I'm talking about calling in coyotes. If you've ever had a wild dog come blistering in to your set up, then you know what I mean! While many hunters shoot coyotes as incidental species during big game or even bird game hunts, there are those among us who thrive on targeting predators exclusively. For coyote hunting fanatics, predator seasons are all about the rush; more specifically duping a wily coyote, prompting them to race in to inspect the prospect of an easy meal or perhaps a potential breeding partner.
I recall one day in particular when my hunting partner and I could do no wrong. No matter where we set up, we had coyotes coming in on a dead run. Things were going so well in fact that we decided to try something that many predator hunters would scoff at. Knowing that the coyote population was high on a specific property and that they could literally come from any direction, we opted to sit smack dab in the middle of a wide open field. Resting back-to-back, we squealed aggressively and within minutes a gorgeous coyote came blasting out of the timber. Without a second thought my partner slowly rolled on to his belly, shouldered the gun that was already resting on a bipod, took aim and launched a bullet out to just under 300 yards. Making a perfect shot, he rolled the coyote on the spot!
Its days like these that coyote hunters live for. While not every outing is that productive, there are things we can do to improve our odds. As an Alberta-based big game and coyote hunting outfitter/guide I've learned there are several things we can do to tip the odds in our favor. Here are my top 10 tips:
TIP #1: Time Your Hunt
TIP #2: Focus on Known Den Sites